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My step-daughter (who is almost 9) has been getting in a lot of trouble lately. Last night we found out that she and her friends were ding-dong-ditching people, so her Dad spanked her and grounded her for the weekend. I told "someone" about it and they said "wow, she got in that much trouble for a harmless prank, we all did that and it's kind of funny." I was a little annoyed by the remark, what do you all think?
(I should also say that about a month ago she got in MAJOR trouble at school, right before the end of the year and was hardly punished at all for it at her "other" house.)


Asked by Liz30355 at 1:04 PM on Jun. 24, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (6)
  • I agree with blessedwboysx3. We don't spank as a rule so I wouldn't have in this situation - however, there would have been repercussions for this behavior. Being a 'prank' doesn't mean it's something to ignore or just talk about. She's old enough to understand that negative actions have negative consequences. Personally, I was taught that a 'prank' is only harmless and funny if the person you're pranking agrees. IF they don't, then it's something you apologize for. Sure, there are people with no sense of humor, but you still say "I'm sorry. I was trying to be silly and I apologize if I offended you."

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:43 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • I'd say each person knows their kids best. If it one was of my boys I'd be a little angry too, prank or not its still disrespectful and rude. I wouldn't spank because I don't, but I would have grounded them at least for a couple days maybe a week - no going outside and no friends until I can trust you again to behave outside. I'd also make sure they knew that this is a trust and responsbility issue, if you can't make good decisions when you're with your friends you don't need to be with them (they can not use the my friend told me to do it line, they need to understand they are responsible for their own actions regardless what their friends do).

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 1:17 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • She's NINE and got spanked? I think by this age there are other ways of punishing a behavior, but anyway...
    I think that ding dong ditching is not a punishable offense personally. I mean they are kids- unless she is being destructive to property or doing it late at night or early in the morning or something, I'd maybe just talk to her about possible dangers in pissing people off

    As for her getting in a lot of trouble lately, I guess it depends on what kind of trouble you mean - maybe try some therapy? how long ago did her mom and dad split up?

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 1:15 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • @chariot - they split when she was 11 mos. old, I have been in her life as a step since she was 3. The strange thing is that she was the model student, teachers raved about her and said how much of a smart student she is. Lately, her Mom has been giving her everything under the sun, the girl has a better phone than I do a $300.00 iPod a flat screen TV and DVD player a queen size bedroom suit and her Mom buys her clothes almost everyday and takes her to get her nails done. Right before school got out she got a "stinger" this is where the student gets a written referral to the office, she got hers for "bullying" a kid with two other girls on recess. She went to the principals office then came home and acted like nothing happened, didn't tell us anything. The Stingers are required to be retunred the following day with a parent signature on it, so she decided to forge her Mother's sig and turn it in. We found out 2 weeks later

    Comment by Liz30355 (original poster) at 1:36 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • My 9 yo daughter was prank calling people with one of her friends and I found out about it. Her "punishment" was that she had to call each of those people back (it was on my cell phone, so I could recall the numbers), tell them what she had done, and that she was very sorry. It was a great experience for her in humility. I don't spank her anymore, and I didn't think prank calling rose to the level of grounding, so that was the discipline we came up with. It worked because she doesn't want to EVER have to go through that again.

    Answer by missanc at 4:36 PM on Jun. 24, 2011

  • Kids need stability, and they get confused when things are in a constant shifting state. Like if things are done differently at her dad's, and then she comes back and has to go along with your rules, she's probably confused as to why the same things aren't expected of her at both her parent's houses. It sounds like she's acting out. Which is normal for kids her age. My 11 yr old Amber is doing this a lot, and yes it's driving me crazy. And yes things are different when she comes with me than when she is with her dad. Maybe your daughter thinks that because her dad lets her get away with certain things, you will too.

    Answer by chavela_carlita at 3:43 AM on Jun. 26, 2011